The $18bn Aramco/Dow petrochemicals joint venture has received bids for the engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) contract for the utilities and offsites package at the complex in Jubail.

The Aramco/Dow project is a 50:50 joint venture between Saudi Aramco and the US’ Dow Chemical and when completed, it will be one of the largest greenfield integrated petrochemicals complexes in the world.

“The bids went were submitted yesterday [9 May], so we expect the decision to be made within the next four to six weeks,” says a source from one of the bidding contractors. “This is one of the early contracts for the project.”

The bidders for the contract are all international design and management consultancies and includes:

  • Fluor (US)
  • Foster Wheeler (US)
  • KBR (US)
  • Jacobs Engineering (US)
  • JGC (Japan)
  • SNC Lavalin (Canada)
  • Worley Parson (Australia)

Foster Wheeler carried out the front-end engineering and design for the utilities and offsites package at the Aramco/Dow project and another source believes that leaves them well placed to be awarded the EPCM contract.

“While it is far too early to use words like frontrunner and favourite I think that [Foster Wheeler] has a definite edge on this package,” the source said on the sidelines of the MEED Saudi Arabian EPC Projects 2011 conference.

A final investment decision is yet to be made regarding the Aramco/Dow project and sources have indicated that this will be made later in 2011.